Sociological Mechanisms Underlying Alcohol, Tobacco, and Gambling: A Causal Mediation Analysis

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Pannapa Changpetch Dominique Haughton

Abstract

This paper employs a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) to investigate direct and indirect effects among the proportion of household expenditure spent on alcohol, the proportion of household expenditure on tobacco, the proportion of household expenditure on gambling, and fourteen demographic factors from a socio-economic survey of 43,844 Thai households conducted in 2009. Our results show that the proportion of household expenditure spent on alcohol has a direct effect on both the proportion of household expenditure on tobacco and the proportion of household expenditure on gambling. The geographical location of the household has a direct effect on all three household expenditures on alcohol, tobacco and gambling. The sex of the household head has a direct effect on both the proportions of household spending on alcohol and tobacco but not on that on gambling. The age of the household head has a direct effect on household spending on alcohol but not on tobacco and gambling. Overall, our paper sheds light on the sociological mechanisms underlying household expenditure on alcohol, tobacco, and gambling and demonstrates why a DAG is the key ingredient to these insights.

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